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I always feel a jolt of excitement when I crack open that first can of pumpkin in the fall, don’t you? If you’re a pumpkin lover, then don’t go another minute without these flaky pumpkin scones topped with a decadent maple glaze. Perfect with a hot cup of coffee on a crisp Fall morning.

pumpkin scones with maple icing

I’ve already made pumpkin coffee cake, pumpkin cheesecake muffins, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, skinny pumpkin frappuccinos….even pumpkin coffee creamer. To be honest though, I was a little nervous to develop a recipe for classic pumpkin scones because the ones at the bakery are just so delicious. After a few tries though, I created a buttery scone recipe that is perfectly spiced without being overly sweet. And did I mention maple icing?


Tell me About These Pumpkin Scones

  • Texture: heavy cream helps produce a freshly-baked scone that is both soft and flaky in the center, crisp on top, and crumbly at the corners.
  • Flavor: these buttery scones are the perfect blend of sweet and spice for the pumpkin obsessed. With every bite, you’ll get a delicious shot of pumpkin spice cut with sweet maple frosting.
  • Ease: if you follow the recipe closely, including my success tips below, this pumpkin recipe is quick and easy to make for breakfast, brunch, or anytime. 
  • Time: the scone dough comes together quickly in about 20 minutes and then just 25 minutes more in the oven to pumpkin perfection. Serve these scones warm right away for the best taste. 

These classic pumpkin scones are inspired by my perfect, no-fail master recipe for scones. Use it to build a scone with your own favorite add-ins like lemon blueberry sconesbanana nut scones, and more! Here are all of my scone recipes

plate of pumpkin scones

Recipe Testing Pumpkin Scones: What Works & What Doesn’t

  1. Frozen butter = success. As your scone bakes, frozen butter will melt and release steam, creating tender flaky pockets in the middle with crisp and crumbly edges. Butter that hasn’t been frozen could melt before it makes it to the oven, and you’ll lose all that tender, flaky goodness.
  2. Grate the butter. Weird, right? Fine shreds of cold butter make for an even mix into the dry ingredients. If you don’t own a grater, you can also use a sharp knife to cut the butter into small chunks, but I prefer the teeny shreds. 
  3. Blot the pumpkin. Trust me on this. Pumpkin puree is extremely wet and can cause spreading in your mixture. Blot the pumpkin for 15 seconds with a paper towel before you use it. For more details on blotting pumpkin, see my pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
  4. Don’t over-mix the dough. After you add the wet ingredients to the dry, mix with ease until combined. Just like pie crust, over-mixing the scone dough will result in a tough texture.

Choosing the Right Ingredients: Heavy Cream for the Win

There are some recipes where substituting similar ingredients is okay, but this isn’t one of them. Rich heavy cream or buttermilk is the secret to these delicious scones. 

  • Heavy cream or buttermilk is a must. Texture is crucial for the perfect scone, so don’t substitute milk or nondairy milk in this recipe. You’ll lose both the texture and flavor that make these scones irresistible. 
  • I swear by this trick. Brush the scones with the remaining heavy cream or buttermilk right before baking and sprinkle with a little coarse sugar if you have any. It will help ensure that sweet, crisp exterior. 

Overview: How to Make Classic Pumpkin Scones

The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through it quickly so you understand each step before you get started. 

  1. Whisk dry ingredients together.
  2. Add frozen butter to the flour mixture. Grate your butter and add to the flour mixture using a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Remember, you don’t want the butter to melt before you bake. 
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients together. After they are combined, drizzle the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix until moistened throughout. 
  4. Flour up. Coat your hands in flour and work the mixture into a ball of dough. The dough should be thoroughly combined, but don’t overwork it which could result in a tough texture.
  5. Flatten dough ball into an 8-inch disc. Use a sharp knife to cut the disc into 8 equal wedges.
  6. Don’t forget the heavy cream wash. Brush the remaining heavy cream (or buttermilk) onto your scones using a pastry brush right before baking. Sprinkle with coarse sugar for a sweet textured crunch.
  7. Make the glaze. While the scones are baking, make the maple glaze over low heat by combining the butter and maple syrup until the mixture is completely melted. Remove from the heat and add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and a dash of salt to achieve the perfect glaze consistency.
  8. Drizzle over the scones. Add the maple icing while the scones are still warm so it melts into every flake, crack, and crevice. You’ll taste melty maple goodness with every bite. 
2 images of pumpkin scone dough in glass bowls
2 images of pumpkin scone dough shaped into a circle and cut into trianges

pumpkin scones with maple icing

More Fall Recipes

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plate of pumpkin scones

Classic Pumpkin Scones

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 scones 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Deliciously spiced classic pumpkin scones are flaky and soft with perfectly crumbly edges. Top with coarse sugar for extra crunch and maple icing for extra decadence!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, frozen
  • 1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons (105ml) heavy cream, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (115g) canned pumpkin puree, blotted*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: coarse sugar for sprinkling on top before baking

Maple Glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons (30gunsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup (112g) sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Adjust baking rack to the middle-low position. Line 1 or 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat(s). If making mini scones, I use 2 baking sheets. Set aside.
  2. Make the scones: Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a large bowl. Grate the frozen butter (I use a box grater). Add the grated butter to the flour mixture and combine it with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until the mixture comes together in pea-sized crumbs. Set aside.
  3. Whisk 1/3 cup (75ml) heavy cream, the egg, blotted pumpkin (see note), brown sugar, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle it over the flour mixture and then mix it all together until everything appears moistened.
  4. With floured hands, work the dough into a ball as best you can and transfer onto a floured work surface. Press into a neat 8-inch disc and, with a very sharp knife, cut into 8 equal wedges. To make smaller scones, press dough into two 5-inch discs and cut each into 8 equal wedges. (Larger scones are pictured in this blog post.)
  5. Place scones at least 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet(s). Using a pastry brush, brush scones with remaining heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. (Gives a nice crunch!)
  6. Bake the larger scones for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. If you made 16 smaller scones, bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes as you prepare the icing.
  7. Make the glaze: In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and maple syrup together, whisking occasionally. Once the butter has melted, remove from heat and whisk in the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired. Drizzle over warm scones.
  8. Scones are best enjoyed right away, though leftover scones keep well at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2 extra days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Plain baked scones freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then heat up to your liking before icing and enjoying.
  2. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of prepared pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/2 teaspoon each: ground allspice and ground ginger AND 1/4 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg and ground cloves.
  3. Blotting Pumpkin: Using a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, lightly blot the pumpkin puree to remove some of the moisture before using in the recipe. The more moisture removed, the less moist and muffin-like the scones will taste. We want the scones to be flaky and crumbly, not super moist or muffin-like. I prefer to squeeze lots of moisture out so the scones taste textured and delicious. Do what you prefer!

Keywords: pumpkin scones

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Great recipe. I was dubious about the pumpkin plus egg, which my regular scone recipe doesn’t have, afraid they would be too cake-ey. The main reason I chose them for Christmas breakfast was that I had half a can of pumpkin in the freezer left over from Thanksgiving. After I’d thawed it when I went to blot it a LOT of water poured out of it. I ended up squeezing quite a bit of water out, and I suspect the dough was stiffer than intended which made it easy to work with. And the texture was really flaky and delicious. I didn’t try the maple glaze because I was afraid it would be too sweet but they are savory, not particularly sweet, so … I still have some left!

  2. I found the dough quite wet but they baked up beautifully.
    And they smell amazing

  3. Thanks for the recipe. I can’t use butter so I use olive oil and add 3/4 cup to a double batch. Works great. The dough is very wet so I use oatflour cut with gluten free baking flour put in fridge overnight and it’s quite manageable after thr oats soak up the moisture. Thank you.

  4. Great recipe! We make multiple batches often and freeze them unbaked. Then we bake them from frozen, adding about 2 minutes to the bake time. So yummy. Because we are freezing them I don’t worry about using frozen butter or putting back in fridge before baking. Delicious.

  5. My family and friends love all the scones and I frequently get requests. I used your basic recipe but put 1/4c brown sugar and 1/4 c regular sugar. Put 1/2 tsp maple flavoring and 1tsp vanilla. 3/4 cup of chopped pecans and 3/4 cups real bacon bits and used your maple glaze from your donut recipe. It is a new favorite especially with the men of the family. I love all the recipes I’ve tried and the explanations, videos and instructions make them fool proof.

  6. I made the classic pumpkin but added mini chocolate chips also, and of course drizzled with the maple glaze. So delicious.

    I also made a GF version. For baking I cut parchment into circles and scooped them flattened into a muffin top pan. My 18 year old son was very appreciative. While I did not try a taste, heaven forbid I take a bite away from him, I did break one in half with my hands and it was the same feel and texture that the regular one was.

    Because I was doing two batches I did each step for both at the same time, putting each portion into the fridge/freezer as thought best.

    I did whisk the brown sugar straight into the flour before adding the butter and that worked fine. In addition, I had a lot of extra half and half in my house so I used that but added 3 TBSP of powdered buttermilk to it then also mixed in the pumpkin and egg and keep it in the fridge til ready to use.

    I did complete the mixing of the GF ones first then used a large cookie scoop and then flattened each round. I did put it in the freezer to set up just a little bit while mixing and baking the non-GF batch.

    For blotting the pumpkin, I used paper towels and changed out the paper towels three times.

    Also, one more side note, the frozen butter was time consuming to grate. So for the second batch, I used my course zyliss grayer on just cold butter, then spread it on a plate and put it in the freezer for a few minutes while assembly of all the other parts.

    Hopefully these note will be a help to others…

  7. I’m currently making my second round of blueberry scones and my first of the pumpkin. So far they are delicious and my family loves them!
    My only issue is that when I mix the blueberries in (I use fresh ones) they tend to break apart no matter how gently I try to mix the dough. This results in an exceedingly wet and sticky dough. I’ve tried adding more flour but the extra mixing in turn squashed the berries more. ‍♀️ Lol.
    Any suggestions? They still baked up delicious so it’s not really the biggest problem but I’d love to be able to make it less sticky.

    1. Hi Liz! The best solution we’ve found is keeping the scone dough PLAIN, then once you’ve shaped it into a round, press the blueberries into the dough all over the top, sides, and bottom. That way they aren’t really being mixed. Instead, you’re just applying/sticking them into the dough. Does that make sense?

  8. This will be my only scone recipe it’s excellent. I used Libby pumpkin that I drained via a sieve and let. It drain for several hours. I blotted it the next day after taking it from frig and there was still moisture in it. Only change I made was to add 1/2 cup currents that I plumped in warm water dried and tossed with the flour mixture. The scones were wonderful I topped with sugar and sliced almonds we loved them. Light tasty sweet enough but not too sweet (skipped the drizzle). The blueberry scones were delicious too easy.

  9. Hello, I don’t think tinned pumpkin is a thing here is Australia. Can I use real pumpkin, cooked and pureed?

    1. Hi Susann, you can use homemade pumpkin puree here as well. Hope you enjoy the scones!

  10. The dough was far too sticky to work with. The temperature and cooking time recommendation was too high and too long- almost turned into rocks. Would recommend 200 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
    Nicely spiced recipe though.

  11. Dough was a bit dry and hard to mix but scones turned out fairly well; just didn’t rise as much as would like. From Australia and used microwaved Kent Pumpkin that had left in fridge overnight – think this was a bit dryer than canned stuff. Next time will add bit more moisture just to help mix and stop me overworking dough. Scone taste was great not too sweet and like sugr crunch on top. Nice and crumbly/crunchy on the outside.

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